thinnerwhy are white women
stick thin in magazines
and on television,
where everyone can see?
i wish that i was a black woman
because even fat black women
are graceful and confident,
and if i was so thin
so skinny-thinny that my
collarbones were like wire hangers
and my ribs a xylophone
it would never be enough --
i would want to be
until i was
just ash and bone.
Orbiti think that if we were planets,Orbit1 year ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
we would orbit in parallel -
side by side, but never quite touching.
we're both of us broken,
we don't "get" affection.
outward displays of love and happiness
are too much: just beyond our
limited scopes of capability.
we're kindred spirits, but
broken souls are no good to anyone -
not even each other.
monster"i feel like a monster" -monster3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
whispered secrets to a plastic Jesus;
pray for swift, holy justice.
no - Fate smiles. too easy.
swallow it down, let it
burn deep inside,
i tasted the fever on your lips
and it was metallic
burning quicksilver in your veins,
dripping off your tongue.
waited for it to consume you
like the monster
that it is.
"we're all monsters inside" -
broken revelations in the darkness;
the daylight was too bright
to see our sins by.
i drew the fire out with each kiss
and blew away the smoke:
guilt is like a glass hammer
beating against stone.
Mamawi.Mamaw2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
i never noticed how delicate my grandmother's hands were;
they always seemed so strong to me. strumming her beloved
guitar, plucking out a tune on her banjo, dancing across
the keys of an organ, her hands came to life. watching them
shake as she struggled to lift her fingers to her cheek,
i couldn't believe how slender her fingers were.
i never noticed how small my grandmother's bones were
until i saw the skin hanging from them. she was always
a big woman; it was a shock to see her arm no bigger
than my own. when I was little, she would balance a
teacup on her belly and laugh, and never spill a drop.
then sings my soul, my savior, god, to thee
how great thou art, how great thou art
-- you are hymns on sunday morning:
and every other day of the week as well.
you and ionce a chubby man with a moustache andyou and i1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
a wifebeater told me i looked like elisabeth taylor.
and then i threw up on his shoes and
he told me he'd changed his mind.
another man once told me "let's get together" but
he didn't tell me that together did not mean always.
i did not throw up on his shoes, but
i did trash his cherry red '69 corvette stingray.
later, a beautiful man with an Irish tongue and
súile neamhfhírinneach asked me to be his forever.
so being the fool i was played for, i said that i would,
only to realize he had not made the same promise.
this is not a story about any of these men.
or rather, it is, but not entirely, because
this is a story about many men and
it is also a story about you and i.
except that there is no 'you and i', there is only 'you' and 'i'
but i'm strangely okay with that because
i don't want to be i, i want to be I, and
i want you to be You, and not Them
and only then will our story have a happy ending.
to an errant loveri have painted my loneliness white;to an errant lover3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
make no mistake.
it hides itself beneath my skin
and if i try very hard i do not see it.
only in the quiet moments.
you are a teacher
in the art of forgetting -
already i have forgotten
how to breathe.
air is as nothing.
you are in my blood.
i need to sleep to wake up but i can't.
you promised to return -
when? when? when?
i miss you.
i saw you today
and the words in my mouth
blew away with the leaves.
you whispered loving artifice
against my skin in the stillness -
"¿soy una puta, verdad?"
"sí, eres la puta más linda del mundo."
and i am yours beyond all doubt and reason;
only say that you will return.
i will wait here
so that you may seek me
if only in the quiet moments.
I want to wake up and not be aloneI closed my eyes while I drove home tonightI want to wake up and not be alone9 months ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
I wanted to see if I could remember the curve
of your spine, your lips, the jut of your hip.
(if these walls could speak,
they would scream your name.)
star sky, not starry skyyou're always on the tip of my tonguestar sky, not starry sky3 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
like the words that i shouldn't speak.
i keep the pieces of you pressed tight
in the back of my memory and mostly
i try really hard not to think about them.
mostly i try really hard not to think
about the way you pressed me tight
against your chest under the star sky.
not a starry sky, a star sky, because
stars are what the sky is made up of.
i thought then that i wanted to be a
star in the sky because no one forgets
about the stars when they can see them
every single night; you laughed because you
didn't know the fear of being forgotten.
so i wonder now if you know that i am
slowly pressing you further and further
from the front of my mind, back to the
very backity backy of my tongue, where
i can't taste your kiss, and forgetting.
ocean angelShe's a dancer; you can tell by the way she stands,ocean angel3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with her chin held high, slim shoulders thrown back.
You can see it in the way she runs; on the balls of her feet,
light as a dandelion seed, ready to fly far, far away.
She ties her hair back in a tight little knot at the nape
of her neck, but three little tendrils always manage
to escape and frame the delicate frame of her face.
The back of her leotard is covered in sand;
her leggings are pulled up to her knees.
She follows the coastline as though it is the long path home,
swaying with each swell and ebb of the tide.
Gravity is nothing and everything to her. She pauses
to examine the horizon for secrets, and is bathed
in golden light. Laughing, she twirls; faster, faster, and
faster still, until even the sun becomes dizzy and falls out
of orbit, and the moon is afraid to take its place.
Somewhere, on another planet, perhaps, a voice calls to her.
She stops spinning, but does not fall, and her eyes
shame the stars when she smiles. I
anamiaribs are seductive bones:anamia3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
misery invites strange bedfellows.
fingers trace ridged planes
beneath forgotten breasts.
flesh is passing, less is best -
beauty is only skin deep:
there is no room for fat.
hips and cheeks protrude sharp,
thrust forward in prominence
to be showcased; trophies.
push, grind, hold each other close -
lips, tongues, teeth, and bones.
together, we are alone
in miserable beauty.
even phantoms, my lovemy love, there are things you should know about me:even phantoms, my love1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
instead of ribs, there is a birdcage in my chest
& locked inside is a sparrow that flutters its wings
against the bars every time you come around.
my blood is pumped by a metronome that
whispers your name with every practiced beat.
you told me that you like catching fireflies
so i trapped my soul in a mason jar for you
& i hope that you will keep it for years to come,
place it on a shelf where you can take it down
once in a while and blow the dust off the top
like a bottle of wine that you'll never open.
i wrote my love for you inside of a prayer
& the words knitted together to create bones
so i built myself on them one hallelujah at a time.
you described your eyes as the color of the sea
so i anchored myself in their blue-grey depths
and left my castle abandoned on the shore.
i am not a person anymore:
no, i am a collection of objects and ideas
that i have taken from you and used to
build myself into something comprehensible.
CapsizedI listened in, I'm guilty of this,Capsized2 years ago in Visual & Found Poetry More Like This
I broke down and wrote you back.
I have to go, knowing you're leaving;
I'm calling to say I'm capsized.
I'm home now, I'm coming around;
nobody really likes to cry.
Maybe if I cry out your name and
list the reasons, maybe if I
never called you back, maybe if I
never imagined you, I could
close this distance, and would not
have to spend a million hours
thinking of how your arms
used to encircle me in my need.
cannibalism: the art of eating my heart and souli. there are some things that you tell to no one, not even the pink-furred easter bunny who knows all your secrets and shares your bed at night and sometimes watches when you touch yourself in desperation.cannibalism: the art of eating my heart and soul2 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
ii. no one will ever understand that you don't always have to be asleep to be having one of those nightmares where you open your mouth to scream only to realize that you can't force a single sound past your waiting lips because what kind of freak are you, anyway? you should have -
iii. it's impossible to explain to someone that you might be in love with your best friend who is also a girl but you aren't sure because you're afraid that the only reason you think of women in that way is a reason that you can't tell them.
iv. this is what you have done to me: locked me up inside myself and eaten the key.
bulletdepression tastes like diet colabullet1 year ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
and cheap vodka at two a.m.
it reeks of stale cigarette smoke
and faded incense that doesn't
quite cover up the stench of vomit
lingering in the kitchen sink
it looks like your arm around
her shoulders and feels like a ball of
lead in the hollow of my throat
where your lips once touched
but most of all, depression sits like
a ton of unspoken words
on the tip of my tongue until it
spews from between unfeeling lips
if only the rest of me were as numb
Beautiful in BlueI know that it's hard to smileBeautiful in Blue1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
With your cheeks bright red
being outlined in blue
With those scars on your chin
and your lips being cut too
With all that dried blood
Leaving traces all across your face
Black and blue bruises on your neck
Where his grip also left its trace
It must be hard to smile
When you're missing some teeth
When the bruises run down your body
And it hurts just to breathe
When your body's tattooed
With scars and in blue bruises
that wont ever leave
When passing out from the pain
Seems to be your only relief
But don't you bring that
blade to your wrist
And hurt yourself too
Don't give up on life
Think that you can't break through
Because you can
And start your life anew
Even now I can say
That you're beautiful in blue
Dear JDear J,Dear J1 year ago in Letters More Like This
When I was seven years old, we spent our days running around
the woods behind your house, chasing monsters and fighting
villains. You were ten and had a silver Power Rangers costume,
and to me you were a superhero. In the evenings, we played
Super Mario World, trading off when we ran out of lives. You
always had your hair cut to a rat-tail in those years.
When I was twelve, we moved back home and you had a
trampoline. Your mom walked out one day, and when I asked
why, my mom told me about the way your parents fought when
you were little. About the time that you saw your mom almost kill
your dad by accident, before they finally stopped. I started to
understand why you were always so quiet. That summer, you let
your hair grow out and cut off the rat-tail.
When I was fourteen, I lived at our grandma's house, and you were
there almost all of the time. I tagged after you like a puppy because you
let me, until your other cousin told you that I liked you, and suddenly you
dear mommadear momma,dear momma1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
do you remember the night I got so drunk and stoned
that I spent an hour just clutching the sides of the
trash can for dear life and whimpering for you to help me?
& you were so far gone yourself that all you could do was
watch me while you lit the bowl and took another hit.
that was how I felt the day you left my father
and I followed you out the road crying your name,
begging you to take me with you, not understanding.
& that was how I felt when I told you that I needed you
and you said "I know" and then just let it go at that.
faces, spaces, placesallow me to exaggerate a memory or two:faces, spaces, places2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
when somebody says your name for the last time,
you let men lay on you
to keep the sleep away.
years go by like one day
here under the north star.
below the canopies,
lost wishes can be found.
cities sleep inside our heads;
a quiet sentinel.
the longer I lay here,
the most peculiar of places,
in the space where I can breathe,
I can't explain the feelings I get.
have I run too far to get home?
we are all astronauts in the dead of night.
when a poet's heart breaks,
an end is just another beginning.
almost, but not quite.to the boy with ghost hands:almost, but not quite.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
his hands are not like yours,
your teeth leave different scars.
love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;
it only lasts a little while
where I end and you begin.
maybe you never belonged to me.
this will be the last piece I ever write about you.
to the boy with the butterfly tattoo:
you found love
in the bathroom sink,
borrowing the past
temerity (noun)for nine years, you called my sisters and i names -temerity (noun)1 year ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
names like "hog", "piggy", and "oinker".
you berated and belittled us for our weight,
told us that no one would date fatties like us.
you told our mother, the woman you profess to love,
that she would look better if she would just
lose a couple of pounds; criticized her
until she developed a disorder, an obsession
that i feel every time i hug her fragile shoulders,
shoulders that were not meant to carry the burden of this.
you compared us endlessly to your own
flawless, rail-thin daughters, bullying them
into silence at the first syllable of protest.
it took nine years to come to this.
when you "teased" my baby sister tonight
in the middle of the chinese buffet for
how little food she had on her plate,
she stood up and looked straight at you
and your own gluttonous portions and said,
"because you taught me not to be fat."
as she walked away, you looked at our mother
and demanded to know if she was just going to let that go.
i held my
SurvivalThe first timeSurvival2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you took off your clothes
in front of me, you slid
the white fabric of your blouse
off your arms and revealed
the pale ladders
You never referenced them
directly. You said you were
lost, once. You said you
did things, once, and you
did them because they
helped you survive yourself.
I didn't say anything,
but you took my hand
and pressed it to the
ridged rows of your flesh
and for every line you left
upon yourself and healed,
I found another reason
to call you beautiful.
happily ever afterall the good fairy tales startedhappily ever after9 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
with once upon a time in a
far away land. so i looked on
a globe to see where far away
was, and started digging a hole
to see if i could reach it.
i dug a grave instead and laid
myself to rest, and there i
lived, happily ever after.
(the hole is still bleeding
because my heart
won't stop beating.)
And thus we went to war.Dear Heart,And thus we went to war.1 year ago in Letters More Like This
You knew better.
Athazagoraphobiai love the sound ofAthazagoraphobia2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
your voice brea king
against my skin after
your seventeenth cigarette
(even though you swore
that you would quit)
(you live for the addiction)
you have a way
of pouring salt into
and leaving me stranded
with the ocean tide
rising up to pull me down,
in the blue of your
damn lying eyes.
Bottle of SadnessYour little red mouthBottle of Sadness2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
is a bottle of sadness
and you think you keep
it stoppered up,
but the cork is cracked
and the seal is loose
and you drip
little splashes of sorrow
every time you speak.
In the morning,
I wake next to your wet sheets,
your pillow soaked through with it.
It smudges on the rims
of glasses you drink from,
it tastes of salt and dusk and blue
on your lips
and even when you laugh,
it boils away and steams
in the air --
the room fills with fog,
you stop laughing again.
I used to think
you had only liters in you,
but some days I think
you have the whole deep sea.